Monday, March 25, 2013


Hypnotherapy is a service business.
By that I mean, hypnotherapists, just like any other practitioner of a business,
offers their services for a fee.

If your faucet breaks you call a plumber, he comes to your home and using his expertise,
experience and inventory, in the form of a new faucet, he repairs your sink
and in doing so, your problem.
You pay him and if you are satisfied with his work,
you would call him back for additional work if needed.

If you are in need of a hairstyle, you find a barber or a hairstylist
that follows your directions; has the skills you require
and if they do an exceptional job,
along with the tip and their fee for their service,
you will go back to that practitioner again and again.
If you truly like their work; if you find that no one else can offer you the service that
that hairstylist can and they are better than any other stylist you have ever used,
you will travel miles to where that stylist works.

If you feel the muscles in your back become tight,
you may find yourself needing the services of a chiropractor or massage therapist.
You may find their services extremely helpful and should the pain come back,
because you were happy with the work they had done on your back,
you would return to them for additional services.

All these services rely on repeated business for their success and that just makes sense.
Whether we are talking about plumbers, hairstylists, chiropractors,
massage therapists or doctors, lawyers or any other practitioner offering a fee-for-service
each one wants your repeated business.

All service industries are based on this simple fact.
For their business to survive they must satisfy the needs of their customers
and if they truly satisfied the needs of their clients,
they will be rewarded with repeat business,
so that their businesses will grow and they can continue
to offer their services to old and new clients alike.

Now none of the above should be surprising to you.
It does make complete sense that if you are running a business
you want your customers to continue to return.
So if I tell you this is true of all businesses, except HYPNOTHERAPY,
you may question me.

Why, you may ask do I say that?
The reason may not be as simple as what I’ve stated previously.
Using hypnosis as a therapeutic tool, to assist people with behavioral change,
is referred to as hypnotherapy.

Hypnotherapy has been used for centuries,
although the practice may not have been called “hypnotherapy”,
the procedure of using hypnosis to facilitate a positive change
in behavior with a client, called by any other name would be the same.

In an ideal situation the client would come to a hypnotherapist,
asking for assistance in changing an unwanted behavior
and after that very first session, leave the office
thrilled that that unwanted behavior no longer is troubling them.

Which brings us back to what I had said previously,
that hypnotherapy is different than other service businesses.
Whereas other service businesses seek out repeated business for exceptional service,
hypnotherapy by its nature eliminates repeated business,
by offering exceptional service.

A skilled hypnotherapist, who is dedicated to helping his clients,
should not see that person again,
because the initial problem that was presented
had been resolved completely in only one session.

I have been using hypnosis along with other therapeutic modalities
to help people change unwanted behaviors, for the past 13 years.
In that time I have noticed, that although my referral rate is high,
my repeat business (for the same issue) is very low.
What this means is, in my opinion, that people coming to me for my services,
which include smoking cessation, weight management, anger management,
sports academic and artistic performance, eliminating fears and phobias, etc.,
find that after only one or two sessions, the problem they came to change
or eliminate had been satisfactorily handled
and that they were satisfied enough to refer me to their friends
with similar issues, but found there was no need to return for continued hypnotherapy.
This is why I say,
that the indication that a hypnotherapist is successful,
is his having a smaller repeat business and a greater referral rate.

I have to smile, when new clients ask me for my success rate.
What I say to them is that if a hypnotherapist claims to have a high success rate,
I should question how that success rate is determined and
how the statistical evidence was gathered.

When I first speak with a prospective client who asks me about smoking cessation,
for example, and asks for my success rate with previous smokers,
I tell them, that it is very difficult to determine an accurate success rate.

In order to have an accurate success rate,
I would have to have follow-up calls,
at one month, six months, one year and five year intervals
and I feel that these calls may be viewed as intrusive
by my clients and so I don’t do them.
I do tell them, that by reviewing the referrals I get from the people
who are no longer smoking due to smoking cessation intervention
and how word-of-mouth referrals are the best advertisement for me,
I could say comfortably, that my success rate is good.